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What is bioinformatics and biomedical engineering?

Inside a degree in bioinformatics and biomedical engineering…  We spoke to:

What is the link between computers and biology?

So when you take a biological sample and you take out that DNA there’s so much information in there that normal people can’t understand on their own. So computers are able to automate those processes that help people understand the DNA.

What is an example of a problem that you would be solving?

If you want to try and understand particular diseases and the genes that cause those diseases you can use bioinformatics. If you take a look at a child who has a disease and compare their DNA with their parents who don’t have a disease, you can look at the differences and figure out what caused it.

What do you learn in your degree at UNSW?

You spend half of your time learning about biology and then the other half of your time developing computer programs to make other people understand more about biology.

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I’m in my fourth year and it’s a five-year degree. In your first and second year you learn about the biology in the labs. In your third and fourth year you learn a lot about the computing programs and in your fifth year you put them all together.

Do you need to study all the sciences in high school to succeed?

I studied chemistry and biology in high school but I didn’t do physics. A lot of people tell you that you need physics to do engineering but I didn’t and I’m doing just fine.

Find out about other types of engineering. 

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